"We really missed our customers, but then we thought-what can we do?” says Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ Jorey Krupa, as he recalls the thinking of management during the pandemic-enforced shutdown of nearly two months. “We can't serve the community right now for very good reasons, but what could we do so that when we open up we have a great bookstore, a better bookstore.”
As of Friday, May 29th, Barnes and Noble is back. Among the changes: sort of a reconfiguration of parts of the store, changes that gives customers more room to breathe, more room to browse, more room to be with… books.
“We really got to work on redesigning the store, redesigning the layout, creating more space, creating a more intuitive shopping experience," explains Krupa.
Wider aisles…clever arrangements… all to make book browsing a cozier, more personable experience. It's as if Barnes and Noble has created spacious, city-states within a literary country.-turning sections like science fiction and history and others into their own little worlds. Similar topics and authors are now more accessible to book-loving eyes.
“All of those books are going to be grouped in a much more intuitive way,” Krupa adds. “If you have that paper to write, we'll be able to take you that section and say, 'Here's all the books you need on the Constitution; they're right here’."
Barnes & Noble employees will be temperature-checked each day and will wear masks, though mask aren't required for customers.
Jorey Krupa says he's just happy---nay thrilled…
"We're thrilled, we really are; we're thrilled…"
…To be able to have customers back in store… and to be able to talk ‘books’.
“That’s our DNA; we love that. We love having those conversations, sharing authors that we love, sharing books that we love, and not having that has been difficult."
And with that relationship about to be restarted, comes one collection request from Barnes & Noble.
“Our big ask,” begins a smiling Krupa, “would be for customers to come here, enjoy the new store and help us help them find books that they love."
One other note--- Barnes & Noble staff members are hoping that after you're done looking at some books, you'll place them on the quarantine table. They’ll then be wiped down and re-shelved for other folks to enjoy.
Barnes and noble back in action… open seven days a week.
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